Death Valley Views -- a Weekend Wandering on a WRR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by levity, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    Wandered around DV Natl Park Veteran’s Day weekend. Thought I’d share some of the views to warm those in colder climes and remind those who’ve been there.
    (Apologies for all the metal mule porn - real mules do show up later).

    Camped with the family at Texas Springs, near the center of the valley and Furnace Creek. The gals wanted to hike and play in the 4x4, so I got a pass to head out on the WR250R.
    Here’s the three-ride tripmeter:

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    Day 1 (~210 miles). Northeast over Chloride Cliffs, thru Beatty/Rhyolite, up Phinney Cyn, returning down Titus Cyn.

    View west on the way to Chloride Cliffs. Corkscrew Peak to the right. Sierra crest and Mt. Whitney (~90 miles west) are just visible above the Panamint range.

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    View east descending into Nevada with Bare Mtns in background.

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    The WRR tried to hit on this blond near Rhyolite

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    Ascended some nice double-track heading up Phinney Cyn

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    Top of Phinney (~7600’) afforded nice views over the Panamints to the Sierra crest

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    Some of the hills in the Grapevine Mtns heading toward Titus.

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    Red Pass above Leadville (it was beautiful, but the photographer couldn’t handle the shade – bright light combo).

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    View back at Red Pass and a waxing moon.

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    Enjoyed riding Titus, but it was too shady for this photographer to get more pics.


    Day 2 (~250 miles). Northwest over Towne Pass (Hwy 190), Hunter Mtn, Hidden Valley, the Racetrack, down Lippencott, returning up Saline Valley via South pass.

    View west over upper Panamint Valley descending Towne Pass. Cottonwood Mtns, the Inyo range, and the Sierra crest are visible.

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    View northwest from the Saline Valley – Hunter Mtn split (~6600’). (Went the other way but returned up this later.)

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    The saddle below Hunter Mtn gave nice views of the upper part of Death Valley (Mesquite Flat area).
    The Grapevine Mtns (including the Phinney Cyn saddle and Titus Cyn) are in the background.

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    Heading down into valleys in the Cottonwood Mtns.

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    The road to Hidden Valley

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    Required pic of the popular Teakettle Junction

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    Had lunch at the Racetrack. Rocks were resting so the grandstands were empty.

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    Descended Lippincott mine road

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    A small front was approaching but there were nice views of the Inyo range and Saline Valley.

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    Back at the Hunter Mtn – Saline Valley split gave another view of upper Panamint Valley and dunes.
    A snow-less Telescope Peak (11,000’) in the background.

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    The cold front dropped a bit of rain in the valley and snow above 4,000. Also provided a nice sunset.

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    Day 3 (~150 miles). Southwest by Badwater, up Warm Springs to Butte Valley cabins, returning West Side Rd.

    The Panamints were now snow-capped – view of Telescope Peak from near Badwater (-200’).

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    Heading up Warm Springs Rd.

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    Encountered a small herd of wild burros near the saddle between Warm Springs Cyn and Butte Valley.

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    A view into Buttte Valley. The cabins are in the hills above the right mirror; Mengel Pass (dropping to Goler Wash and Ballarat) is just above the left mirror.

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    The geologist’s cabin has a nice view of Stripped Buttte.

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    Stella’s cabin has a pair of skis out front in case of snow.

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    Russell’s camp has a nice patio on the south side…

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    …made a great spot to relax and have lunch before returning.

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    Cheers, Larry :ricky
    #1
  2. jtb

    jtb Long timer

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    Larry,

    Was in Death Valley in March with the wife and kidlets, only difference was that we did the Winnebago tar tour as you can see...
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    Wish we had the time, local knowledge and more importantly a suitable bike to see some of the sights you have shown us.

    Oh well, just means we'll just have to come back one day. But it may be some time before the AUS dollar buys 98US cents. At the current 65c we won't be travelling stateside again very soon!:eek1

    Great report from a great place to ride:clap Thanks for sharing:freaky
    #2
  3. AZcacti

    AZcacti Dope on a Rope

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    Great Pics!!!:clap

    They have really improved the Lippincott sign.
    #3
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Beautiful ride! Thanks for the report and great pics :thumb
    #4
  5. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Great report and pics. My wife and I want to go there someday. I have friends from Hesperia that go there all the time and have invited us. Just have to pick a time and go.
    #5
  6. jfdirtybiker

    jfdirtybiker Roads are to explore

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Chino Valley, Arizona. Fun-in-sun
    Nice pics of my favorite place. Heading back down in a few months. What was the average temps down low versus up in the higher elevations?
    #6
  7. El Zorrillo

    El Zorrillo charity case

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    did you sign the guest book at the geologist's cabin?

    i was through there a few weeks ago and was surprised how many folks roll through there and check in.

    great pics!
    #7
  8. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    yep, the previous one was gettin' a bit worn (from this 2006 ride report)
    they must have been tired of helping stuck folks out

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    #8
  9. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    Rough figure is 4-5°F per 1,000 ft elevation difference. Daytime highs in the valley this time of year are usually 70-80°, and in the 50's at 4000-7000 ft. Nice riding conditions! Dec - Jan are typically 10-20° cooler.

    Lotsa weather info and the Morning report on the DVNP web site.
    #9
  10. 2on2off

    2on2off Head'n somewhere new

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    Hey Larry:

    Now those were some very nice loops for DV. I'm itch'n to go back.

    I rode to Beatty and Titus Canyon last year but didn't see Rhyolite or Phinney Canyon. I had to get out my "Tom Harrison" DV map to see where some of the places were that you rode to. Love that map.

    How much extra fuel did you carry with you to make those loops?

    Last year I rode east over Mengel Pass with no help but did need some help going back up that pass on my XRL. Did you try riding your WRR west over Mengal Pass? That bike is probably light enough to man-handle over that pass solo if needed. Thanks for sending me the link to this report.

    Three days of riding in DV is about right. I'm looking forward to doing more exploring in DV this winter and hope to ride over Steele Pass and east through Echo Canyon.

    Your pics were great and give you a sense of what it is like to be there.
    #10
  11. transistor281

    transistor281 Been here awhile

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    ill be doing this trip spring 09 cant wait
    #11
  12. gatling

    gatling Long timer

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    Great report!
    #12
  13. larryboy

    larryboy Super old.

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    Nice report!! I must have missed it since I was still there when you posted, glad it got bumped back up for me.

    :beer
    #13
  14. Redbull Addict

    Redbull Addict I need another one...

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    Great pics!

    Makes me want to go back!!
    #14
  15. FREDO RIDER

    FREDO RIDER Enjoying the path !

    Joined:
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    That looks like a fun ride.
    Cool photos, thanks for sharing !
    #15
  16. AdventureGirl

    AdventureGirl AG

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    What a great ride!:clap I've been to the valley three times. Plan my first trip with the DRZ there in late winter/early spring. Would really love to get a copy of your gps tracks!!

    AG
    #16
  17. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    Hi Jim,

    The WRR is good for ~110 miles on a tank (60 mpg, 1.9 gal tank). I carry as much as I think I'll need, up to 1 gal in fuel bottles in the DirtBagz.
    I miscalculated the distance and mpg on the 3rd day and had to turn around just before Mengel.
    Good thing as I rode back to Furnace Creek for 38 miles on reserve and took 1.89 gal to fill up. :eek1
    I'm looking forward to the 3.5 gal Safari tank!

    Sorry, AG, I didn't keep tracks, but you can trace the routes on Mapsource or other programs or search the GPS Tracks West Forum.
    The park map is also a good guide because you're only supposed to ride on established roads.

    If you're interested:
    this post describes a ride on a DRZ by the Ractrack, Saline, Steele Pass and Eureka Dunes,
    this one a loop around the Panamints over Mengel Pass,
    and this one a loop on the WRR through Saline Valley and over Cerro Gordo,.

    It's all good - have fun! :ricky
    #17
  18. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    Buy the way - what model of Renthal handlebars is it you have on your WR250R?
    #18
  19. GsVs

    GsVs Goin' Somewhere

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    :clap

    Great pictures and ride report for the Wr250R !
    #19
  20. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

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    Great ride report, thanks for posting. I was there for the Countdown DS ride a few months ago. Really cool place.
    #20